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Magazine Sales on the Decline?

Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at 11:03 AM

In the news: What do the recent Audit Bureau of Circulation numbers mean for the industry?

Magazines are desperately trying to stay afloat as readers flock to digital reading devices. Sales are down nearly ten percent in the first half of the year -- and down a staggering 44 percent in the last five years. Even the best-selling magazine, Cosmopolitan, is down 16 percent in the first half of 2012.

What do these numbers mean? Is this a temporary swoop as publishers and advertisers adapt to digital, or does the current decline signal a larger problem in the industry? Read more here. For further analysis, read David Carr's recent piece from the New York Times here.

Also notable

Digital Magazine Circulation Doubles

Print advertising revenue is on the decline, but digital magazine circulation doubled in the first half of 2012. The growth seems staggering, but it's important to look at the bigger picture: paid subscriptions are up just 1.1 percent, and (as mentioned in the section above) newsstand sales are down nearly 10 percent. What's more, digital editions still account for a very small percentage of the magazine market. Read more here.

Huffington Magazine

Earlier this year, the Huffington Post launched its digital magazine, Huffington. Last week, the newspaper/magazine publisher shared some of the lessons it's learned about magazine publishing this year. Among them: choosing the right publishing software, the importance of social media tools, and hiring the right people to get the magazine off the ground. Read more about Huffington's first year here.

Reinventing the Print Magazine

Recently, Spin magazine laid off its editor-in-chief and managing editor. The magazine also cut its circulation to six issues per year, a strategy that the CEO hopes will allow the print edition to continue thriving. Poynter.org examines the changes at Spin and profiles Time in its exploration of the changing print magazine industry. Read about it here.

Magazine Wrap Recycling

According to a recent PrintWeek.com article, the Professional Publishers Association (PPA) is urging publishers to add "On-Pack Recycling Logos" (OPRLs) to their magazine wrappings to promote recycling of the packing materials. Read more about the proposed program here.

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